Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland: More derby delight for Black Cats (video)

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NEWCASTLE — Sunderland won the Tyne-Wear Derby for the third-straight time in the Premier League, as they waltzed into St. James’ Park and beat arch rivals Newcastle 3-0 for the second straight year on Saturday.

The Black Cats looked comfortable throughout and two goals in four first half minutes sealed the massive victory that lifts Sunderland into midtable. It was the first time since 1923 that the Mackems had won three-straight league games against Newcastle.

Fabio Borini smashed home a penalty to put Sunderland 1-0 up, following a foul by Vernon Anita on Phil Bardsely, then Adam Johnson tapped home to make it 2-0.

Newcastle pushed forward after the break but struggled to carve out any clear cut chances, as Johnson struck the post for Sunderland in the 65th minute as the away side looked dangerous. Newcastle sealed the win in the 78th minute as a run from Borini saw Jack Colback finish coolly to seal the 3-0 win.

Sunderland move to 24 points and rose to 12th, while Newcastle are in 8th with 37 points.

Newcastle had the first real effort on goal as Moussa Sissoko cut in from the right and fed Mathieu Debuchy, but the Magpies right back dragged his effort wide of the post.

Then in the 5th minute Marcos Alonso went close for Sunderland, as he headed home when unmarked in the box following a set piece from the left. The Black Cats settled into the game well, and looked dangerous from set pieces as the frantic start to the derby match calmed down.

But not for long.

In the 18th minute Adam Johnson dinked a great ball in to Phil Bardsley and as the right back entered the box, Newcastle midfielder Vernon Anita took him out and gave away a clear-cut penalty. Borini stepped up to smash the spot kick home and sent the traveling Sunderland fans wild.

Soon after it was 2-0 to Sunderland as an exchange between Jozy Altidore and Jack Colback resulted in the latter having a shot that deflected off Steven Taylor and found its way to Johnson at the back post, who tapped home his sixth goal in five games to double the Black Cats lead.

Newcastle tried hard to get back into the game during the rest of the first half, but too often the Magpies panicked and lumped the ball forward aimlessly. The home fans were restless, as Sunderland went in 2-0 up at the break.

The home side brought on new Dutch striker Luuk de Jong at half time, as Pardew tried to get his side going  by mixing things up. Newcastle had a penalty shout in the 51st minute, as Shola Ameobi went down under a tangle of legs but it was waved away, while de Jong hit a weak effort on target.

In the 63rd minute Tiote smashed an effort towards the top corner but Vito Manone saved superbly, and from the resulting corner Ameobi headed over from close range. Newcastle were pushing for a goal back.

But soon they were almost 3-0 down as Sunderland winger Johnson cut in from the right and his curling left-footed shot hit the far post and went away to safety.

In the 78th minute Sunderland did seal the win as Colback finished superbly after being put through by Borini’s terrific run.

Sunderland grabbed yet another win against their rivals in the North East.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon (Dummett, 64); Tiote, Sissoko, Anita (Marveaux, 74); Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi (de Jong, 45)

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O’Shea, Bridcutt, Colback, Ki, Johnson (Larsson, 77), Borini (Gardner, 89), Altidore

Goals: Borini (19), Johnson (23), Colback (78)

Nothing to separate Portland and 10-man LAFC

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There was entertainment value in Los Angeles FC’s potential playoff preview with the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the City of Angels, but all that arrived was a scoreless draw.

[ MORE: Atlanta 1-1 Seattle ]

Both Giovani Savarese’s Timbers and Bob Bradley‘s nickname-free expansion club remain in the West’s Top Four. PLAFC remains unbeaten at home during their maiden voyage through Major League Soccer.

Adama Diomande came close for the hosts, who finished with 10-men when Lee Nguyen went studs-up on Sebastian Blanco‘s thigh for a pretty easy red card (though it took some time for Silviu Petrescu to produce the red).

VIDEO: France stars projected onto Arc de Triomphe

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If France’s players had any doubt about the level of import their World Cup title had back home, it was erased when their photos were projected onto one of the most celebrated monuments in the world.

The photos of Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and company made their way onto the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, hours after France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who died in the French Revolution and early 19th century wars, and sits above France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

How humbling must it be for those players to grace such a heavy monument (both in weight and substance).

Dalic: In one day, Croatia went from lucky to unlucky

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Ante Cacic’s Croatia was on pace to miss out on the World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia rallied the troops to second place in their qualifying group, a playoff defeat of Greece, and a run to the World Cup Final.

Pretty decent stuff.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

And surely the 51-year-old will reflect on that, probably even this evening, but he’s more focused on a letdown after Sunday’s 4-2 loss to highly-favored France.

Key to the match was a penalty awarded to France when a partially-obscured Mario Mandzukic handled a ball inside the 18, leading to Antoine Griezmann’s pivotal goal.

The PK was awarded via VAR, and France went up 2-1 en route to a three-goal lead. From the AFP:

“I never comment on referees but in a World Cup final you do not give such a penalty,” said Dalic.

“It in no way diminishes France’s win. We were a bit unlucky. Maybe in the first six games we were favored by luck and today we weren’t.

“I have to congratulate my players. Maybe today we played our best game at these championships. Against such a strong side as France you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we must also be proud of what we’ve done.”

Croatia had two-thirds of the ball and doubled France’s shot attempts, and Dalic isn’t the least bit controversial in wondering whether the match is much different if that penalty goes unawarded by referee Nestor Pitana.

Atlanta comes back to draw 10-man Seattle (video)

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A scrappy if not downright venomous affair between the lowly Seattle Sounders and high-flying Atlanta United ended in a 1-1 draw in Georgia on Sunday.

The Sounders went ahead through a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick, awarded via VAR a la this morning’s World Cup Final, but Atlanta leveled the score with a highlight which show every bit of the game story.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

Just check Josef Martinez’s barking at Stefan Frei, who made an uncharacteristic error on the play, after his 19th goal of the season (Nice cross, Julian Gressel).

Martinez needs nine more goals to break the MLS single season record, and he has 13 games to score them.

Jordan McCrary was sent off for Seattle in the 63rd minute for a second yellow, but Seattle navigated the final half hour or so to scoop up an unlikely point.

Atlanta still sits first with its earned point but opens the door for New York City FC to reach the top of the table when it plays its match-in-hand, while Seattle is now 11 points back of the West’s final playoff spot.